Flour is essential, we use it almost everyday and it’s being used for different things, like baking and cooking.
Many who does use flour don’t understand the different types of the flour and the uses of each type, as each type makes a different impact on a recipe, and using the wrong flour type might lead out to a whole different outcome.
The key in the flour differences is the percent of the protein content, and it’s determined based on the wheat grain, the hard wheat grain is high in protein and gluten while the soft wheat grain is lower in protein and contains starch.
We’ll introduce you to some basic types of flour and what are their uses in order for you to have a better understanding what type of flour to use.
First the most common one is all purpose flour, and as it’s obvious from its name, the all purpose flour is used almost for everything, it contains both the hard and soft wheat grain, thus it stands in the middle when it comes to the protein content which is usually 10 to 12 percent.
You can bake almost everything with it as breads, pizza, cookies etc..
Second is bread flour, it’s made of the hard wheat grain, it contains about 12 to 14 percent of protein and it gives structure and more strength to the dough.
The high gluten percentage it withholds works in a very efficient way with the yeast making a chewier products, this is best used for goods that should have a strong structure and are meant to be chewy.
Third type of flour is semolina, semolina is made of a specific type of wheat.
The durum wheat is a hard wheat, around 5% of the world production is durum wheat, the semolina flour contains even more protein than bread flour.
Usually this flour is used to make spaghetti and pasta.
Fourth is the 00 flour, the digits refers to the quality of the grinding the flour did receive, also for you to understand the grinding system is through digits as follows 2,1,0,00 the lower you go in digits the better is the quality of the grind.
The 00 is a very fine Italian flour, it's a powdery texture and is the best for making pizzas and fresh made pasta.
Fourth the cake flour, this type of flour is made only of soft wheat, which make its texture very fine it contains a protein of around 5% it produces a soft and tender crumb.
Best used for cakes, cupcakes, muffins, etc..
Fifth is pastry flour, while this flour is also made of only soft wheat, it still contains more protein than cake flour of 8% to 9% protein.
This percent of protein makes it perfect for baking pastries, as it gives the right strength of the texture and yet a tender crumb.
You can use this flour in pastries as tarts.
At last we cover the whole wheat flour, the whole wheat flour uses the whole wheat in the grinding process, so it includes the bran and germ of the wheat, and it’s considered healthier than the regular flour as it contains oils, fibers, variety of vitamins and minerals.
The whole wheat flour produces a more heavy and strong baked goods.
And there are two types of the whole wheat flour, the regular and the white whole wheat flour.
The white whole wheat flour is the same as the regular except it is being grinded from the white wheat.
The whole wheat flour could be baked to make all wheat bread, or it could be replacing the all purpose flour in case you're using the white whole wheat.